Most of the single people featured in the film end up talking about their faith and values at some point, some more explicitly than others.
Rasheeda is the most outspoken about her Christian faith in the film.
“We had put together a pitch at dinner, and there were 14 women at dinner, two were married and the rest were single, and a lot of us just didn’t know when the last time we went on a date was,” Harrington told CNA. ” After hearing about Cronin, Harrington and her team decided to feature the dating assignment in their new film “The Dating Project” – part dating how-to, part dating documentary.
Besides Cronin’s dating assignment, the film follows five single people of varying ages and backgrounds who are looking for love – two college students, Matt and Shanzi; Cecilia, a 20-something living in Chicago; Rasheeda, a 30-something living in New York; and Chris, a 40-something from Los Angeles.
“They don’t build great habits for marriage and family. Cronin said that while the hook-up culture is prevalent, she’s found that most students are unhappy with that status quo and are looking for a way out.
“They want the way out but nobody’s offering it to them,” she said.
Cronin asked her students if graduation meant some difficult conversations with their boyfriends or girlfriends – and she got blank stares. ” Further conversations with students proved to her that this group of seniors was not an anomaly, but the norm.
So she tweaked the assignment to include a set of rules that students had to follow – ask a legitimate romantic interest out on a date. You ask, you pay – but a first date should only cost about anyway.
And so, like any good professor, Cronin turned the problem into an (extra credit) assignment that she gave to her senior capstone class the following year.
While her students all thought it was a good idea, none of them had asked someone on a date by the end of the semester.
“I think it’s just as difficult for Christians as it is for anyone else.” Both Cronin and Harrington said that dating sites and apps are not bad in and of themselves, but they should be viewed as a tool.
“Use it as a tool to meet someone in person, because meeting in person is how you get to know someone,” Harrington said.